Cassette Tapes: DIY Nostalgia

Did you know that the sale of cassette tapes increased by 103% in 2020? Cassette tapes peaked in the 1980s and 1990s, but this nostalgic media format is back and better than ever!

Have no intention of traveling back a few decades to listen to cassettes? No problem, you can use your stack of old tapes to create some funky DIY projects. Start with this list to get inspired and see where the nostalgia takes you!

Make Vintage Music

If you were born after a certain time, you might not even know what cassette tapes are! Cassette tapes consist of a small plastic casing with spools of magnetic film inside. They were the most popular music media format from the 1970s until the early 2000s.

If you’ve found yourself with a bunch of cassettes, the best way to use them is to make music, of course! First, familiarize yourself with the different cassette tapes available. Then pick up a recorder online and make some sweet tunes!

Creative Plant Holders

Got more of a green thumb than a musical soul? No problem! Cassette tapes are versatile and can be used for many creative DIY projects.

Spruce up your plants with cassette tape pots and holders. This simple version is perfect for fake plants as it won’t be waterproof. To make a vintage-inspired plant or succulent holder, all you need is:

  • Four cassette tapes
  • A base piece of wood (a 4.25″ square)
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paint, gold foil, or any decorating materials

Hot glue the four cassette tapes into a square shape and then attach the structure to a piece of wood. Once it dries, go to town with paint, markers, or whatever you want to use for decoration! You can even leave the cassettes as they are for a more 90s look.

Once everything is dry, fill the plant holder with gravel or sand. Place a faux succulent or plant inside and show off your creation!

90s Party Decorations

Re-live your youth (or experience this quirky decade for the first time) by throwing a 90s theme party. Decorate with quintessential 90s items like lava lamps, VHS tapes, and cassettes! Start by making super easy cassette tape garlands to string across the room.

Crack open the casing and pull out the spool of plastic film (save this for another type of garland). Then snap the case back together and decorate it. We love the idea of spray painting multi-colored or tie-dyed neon cassettes.

Then use the film to make simple pom-poms. String the pom-poms and colorful cassette tapes together to create very 90s garlands! Make sure everyone comes dressed as their favorite celebrity from the decade.

Cassette Tape Fun for Kids

One of the best uses for cassette tapes is a boredom-buster craft project for kids. Round up a stack of cassettes and all the art supplies you can find, and let your children get creative. They can use the cassettes to create the bodies of:

  • Robots
  • Animals
  • Dolls
  • Monsters
  • Superheroes

Older kids who can handle a hot glue gun can build structures and cities with cassettes! These crafts are perfect for rainy days or summer camp activities. You can even use it as a starting point for some music education classes.

Cassette Tapes as Accessories

Start channeling your favorite 90s supermodel because this historical decade’s fashion is on trend again! We saw cropped cardigans, claw clips, and bike shorts all over the runways this year. So work a bit of 90s magic into your outfit with some cassette tape accessories:

  • Purse
  • Wallet
  • Cardholder
  • Phone case
  • Earrings
  • Bracelets

YouTube is a great source for how-to guides on cassette tape accessories. You can also use the plastic film to crochet a garment! We think it would make a perfect 90s bucket hat.

Statement Lampshade

At the height of their popularity, cassette tapes came in a rainbow of colors. But for this project, a pile of clear tapes can transform a boring lampshade into a moody, 90s light! For this DIY, you’ll need:

  • Clear cassette tapes (the number depends on your lampshade size)
  • Hot glue
  • Paint
  • An old lamp

The easiest way to create this lampshade is to glue tapes into a rectangular shape. Then attach it to your old lampshade frame after removing the original material. You can follow this super easy tutorial to get started!

But let your creativity soar and find unexpected ways to create different shapes. You might be able to build a circular shade or a dome shape if you use mini-cassette tapes!

Colorful Cassettes

Painting cassette tapes can be both fun and therapeutic. If you have a pile of tapes sitting around, find some paint suitable for plastic and get started. You can paint the cassettes to match your interior aesthetic and place them around your home as decor pieces.

Or consider building a cassette tape wall if you have the time, patience, and space! Head to your local thrift store to track down as many tapes as you can find. You might need over a hundred, depending on your wall size.

For a quick set-up, attach the tapes to your wall using sticky strips or poster putty. But if you want a more permanent and sturdy piece, buy a piece of cheap plywood and hot glue the tapes to it. Then mount it on your wall using a few nails.

Leave the tapes as they are for a unique statement wall, or paint them to match your decor. Using the tape cases for this project is another offbeat option guaranteed to give you a vintage vibe.

Dive Into Cassette Tape Nostalgia!

Cassette tapes were originally used for recording and playing music. But with the rise of CDs and digital streaming, we’ve found better ways to enjoy music. Now, a bit of creativity can transform them into stunning decor pieces!

Embrace the 90s fashion fever and create some cassette tape projects for your home. You can even repurpose other 90s items like VHS tapes into complementary decor items.

Want more project ideas and DIY guides? Check out our Lifestyle section to get inspired!


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